All posts by A. Kenyatta Parks

Defining a Gentlewoman

A lot of you started to ask me what’s the difference between a stud, boi and a gentlewoman. A gentlewoman is a woman that has discriminating taste in women, fashion, culture and politics. There are dapper studs and bois, but that don’t make them gentlewomen. It’s about how you treat others. It’s opening up a door for your lady. It’s giving up your seat on the subway for the elderly or a pregnant woman.

Ladies, you want to know if you have a boi or a gentlewoman. Here are a few rules a gentlewoman will follow:

  1. A gentlewoman doesn’t want a relationship with gender roles. We both work. We both clean. We both spoil each other.
  2. She wants you to make decisions. Don’t be wishy-washy. If you want to hang out with her, you can call her, too. She doesn’t alway want to make the first move.
  3. She’s a womanist. She doesn’t hate men. She believe in equality in work pay. She believes the woman not the government should control her body (and what she does with it).
  4. A ‘boi’ make her girl jealous of other women. A gentlewoman makes other women jealous of her woman.
  5. Any woman can sex you, feed you and buy you stuff. But it takes a gentlewoman to help you become a better person to build with you and work with you in building a better life together.
  6. Sending a woman a text that says “Good morning, beautiful” can change her attitude for the rest of the day.
  7. She doesn’t have time to play with you. A gentlewoman never leads her on if you knows nothing’s going to happen. She’s honest and straightforward.
  8. Don’t tell her lies just to spare her feelings. She’d rather know the truth now rather than finding out later.
  9. She expects you to actively listen to her as she will do the same for you.
  10. When on the date with you, she’ll have her phone on silent. No social media. No text messages. No phone calls unless it’s an emergency. (I struggle with this one! I have to be present with my lady especially during our quality time.)
  11. She’ll call you out the blue just to hear your voice. She’ll respond to your text in a timely manner.
  12. She’s spontaneous. Just be ready for adventure.
  13. A gentlewoman doesn’t make a promise if they’re going to break it.
  14. She believes in chivalry. Chivalry is a beautiful, genuine thing. It will never die.
  15. A real gentlewoman’s treatment of her girl never fades. She doesn’t treat her right for a few months and then stops. A true gentlewoman keeps her smiling.
  16. A gentlewoman knows to keep things good and bad between each other. She does not want everybody in your business.

Everyone is not a gentlewoman. Gentlewomen are not perfect, but we are trying to be the best version of ourselves. Do you agree with my definition of a gentlewoman? If not, how would you define a gentlewoman?

10 Rules for a Gentlewoman in Being in a Healthy Relationship

I.

“The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others.” –Sonya Friedman

Pay attention to your relationship with yourself. True love comes from within. You will never be satisfied with someone else’s love. If you don’t love yourself, you cannot expect anyone else to love you. The way you treat myself shows others how you expect to be treated. Therefore, self-love is first and foremost.

II.

“The wrong person makes you beg for attention, affection, love and commitment. The right person gives you these things because they love you.” –Sonya Parker

A gentlewoman never stops trying to show her woman how much she means to her even after she already has her. Affection is not just kissing and touching. Affection is having great stimulating conversations about love, life, anything and everything. Affection is not bound by any obligations or barred by any human limitations. It is to speak without regret or fear or consequence. Affection is about giving the time to show the other person how much they matter to you.

III.

“I don’t want the perfect relationship because perfect is impossible. I want trustworthy, honest, loyal and love. I love imperfections. I don’t want perfect. I want worth it.”-Unknown

In a relationship, honesty and trust must exist. If they don’t, there’s no point of loving. So if you can’t afford to be honest, stay single. We often are not honest because we do not want someone to see our imperfections. Guess what? No one’s perfect. But you can be honest. A gentlewoman is honest and trustworthy in her thoughts, words and action. We tell the truth and keep our promises.

IV.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” –Leo Buscaglia

A gentlewoman writes handwritten letters to her lady and sends them in the mail. She buys flowers for her lady just because she’s thinking of her. She cooks for her lady after her lady has had a long day at work. A gentlewoman knows never to stop the little things for her lady, for those little things make her feel wanted. Basically, a gentlewoman knows she has to consistently do the things that got her lady to keep her.

V.

“A healthy relationship will never require you to sacrifice your friends, your dreams or your dignity.” –Mandy Hale

A gentlewoman knows that she has to have passions and friendships outside of her girlfriend. Anyone has to be in control of their own happiness. You have to nurture your circle of friends outside of your relationship. You cannot drop your friends just because you’re in a relationship. Being happy with yourself builds confidence. You can enjoy your time with your partner, enjoy your time with your friends and enjoy your time alone. It’s about living interdependently. Another key to being in a healthy relationship is get a life that is yours.

VI.

“No relationship is all sunshine, but two people can share one umbrella and survive the storm together.” –Unknown

A gentlewoman understands that all relationships have its ups and downs. The difference between a successful relationship and a break-up is that the couple decides that each other is worth the fight. The concept of constant bliss is something made up in Hollywood. It’s not real. What’s real is dealing with bad days, being mentally and physically tired, financial stress and draining emotions. It’s called being human.

VII.

“Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself.” –Richard Bach

A gentlewoman understands that she needs a woman who she can be her authentically herself with. It’s learning how to be vulnerable to allow someone to see the real ‘you’.

VIII.

“When you truly love someone, you don’t judge them by their past. You accept it and leave it there.” -Unknown

The truth is that the more intimately you know someone, the more clearly you’ll see their flaws. That’s just the way it is. You might think you love someone until they go outside your box. A gentlewoman understands that love means accepting your lady’s faults and insecurities and loving them anyway and making it through life’s challenges together.

*Disclaimer: This does not mean you stay in an abusive relationship (mental or physical). This means you accept them for their flaws as they are not perfect. So don’t place anyone on a pedestal that they can come crashing down.

IX.

no cell phones at dinner

A gentlewoman leaves her cell phone in the car when she takes her lady to dinner. She does not want anything to divert her attention from her lady. She understands that each time she is with her lady is a time to connect and be present.

X.

“Why should a relationship mean settling down? Wait out for someone who won’t let life escape you, who’ll challenge you and drive you toward your dreams. Someone spontaneous you can get lost in the world with. A relationship, with the right person, is a release not a restriction.” –Beau Taplin

A gentlewoman does not want to settle into a mundane home life with her lady. She wants to travel with her lady around the world. She wants her lady to fulfill her dreams with and without her. She wants to fulfill her own dreams and passions. She wants to dance like no one is watching. She wants to constantly challenge herself and her lady to be better than the day before.

Approaching 40 Without Fear

Years ago I decided that I didn’t want a mundane life of a 9 to 5. For years that’s how I lived. I’d worked for Hidden Beach Recordings at the rise of Jill Scott. I’d traveled to SXSW with Cornerstone Promotions. Exciting times. I was in the midst of it. I had great ideas, but I didn’t know how to be loud.

Maybe my presence was loud enough. I was a masculine of center woman. I always thought my masculine presence was always judged. I didn’t want to extra attention for my appearance. I wanted my creativity and work to shine through. Therefore, I dimmed my light.

By dimming my light I denied myself the life I deserved and dreamed of living. Time doesn’t want wait on anyone. I remembered waking up realizing that I was 35 and hadn’t accomplished anything.

Don’t get me wrong I traveled. I shopped. I loved. There was a semblance of freedom where I moved how I want without boundaries and barriers. I could pick and leave as I did to DC and then to New York. I loved that freedom, but I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t living that life I wanted. And then I moved back home again believing I failed again.

I looked around, and my friends were leaving me behind. I realized that I didn’t own my dream house. I wasn’t in a relationship. And maybe it was time to settle down. Maybe it was time to get that 9 to 5 that I desperately didn’t want. Just maybe.

being fearlessI looked around me and realized that I didn’t own my house. I wasn’t in a relationship. Maybe it was time to get settled. Maybe it was time to get that 9 to 5 that I desperately didn’t want. Just maybe.

Or maybe NOT. Maybe I hadn’t believed in myself this whole time. I did enough to get by, but my soul knew that wasn’t enough. I could have it all. I could be creative, make money, have a relationship and that house I dreamed of. If only, I could get out of my own way.

In August I will be 40. Yes, the big 4-0. I am finally figuring out that I was scared. I was scared that I wasn’t enough. I had to heal the past wounds of body-shaming, not being the typical beauty, or bullying. I never dealt with how they affected me. I have to let go of the negative thoughts in my head that say:

“I will always be fat.”

“I am crazy to think I can revolutionize the world.”

“I am not praise-worthy.”

I have to combat that with affirmations of how awesome I am. I have to speak up to be heard. I cannot allow this fear to stagnate me. I am not living the life I’m supposed to live. I’ve simply existing.  It is time to live in my truth. It’s time to be fearless.

2016 has to be the year I shed my fear. It’s the year that I create and make money. It’s time to travel the world. It’s like 50 said, it’s time to ‘get rich or die tryin’. My riches are loving myself and believing in my path called life. My path is not like anyone else. And as J. Cole said we have to ‘Love Yourz’ as I am learning to love mine.

It’s time to take off these layers of fat and uncertainty. It’s time to do Insanity again. It’s time to get fit to be healthy because I have shit to do. It’s time to acknowledge the past to heal.

In the year of my 40, it’s time to dance like no one’s watching. It’s time to make my dreams come true. It’s time to be free. It’s time to be me. No more words. Just watch.

The Lesbian Socialite’s Dinah Contest

The Lesbian Socialite Contest

Are you going to Dinah Shore weekend? You wish you could get in the special events for free ninety-nine? Well, The Lesbian Socialite is looking for you to join #TeamSocialite at The Dinah!

These are the two things you have to do. First, you have to want to attend the World Famous Dinah Shore Weekend. And then you have to join #TeamSocialite and tell everyone about it. If you’re interested, let me tell you how to enter.

Stalk The Lesbian Socialite on social media. The more engaged you are, the easier it will be to see you. Basically, you have to stand out from the crowd.

Check The Lesbian Socialite on Twitter (@TheLesSocialite), Facebook (The Lesbian Socialite page), Instagram (@TheLesbianSocialite) and tumblr (@thereallesbiansocialite) are all places you can interact with The Lesbian Socialite. Then you should:

  1. Tell them why you want to join #TeamSocialite. The Lesbian Socialite parties with a purpose over here. It’s not simply about looking good and being fabulous (even though we do that). It’s about doing something good and being supportive to our community. Tell them what their motto socially active through social activity means to you.
  2. Tell them your Dinah dream. Why do you want to go The Dinah?

It’s pretty simple, huh? Get creative. Post your story on their FB page use the hashtag #TSDinah2016 if you post it on any other social media. Stay engaged. Invite your friends to make your case. Post as often as you like. They are a social bunch so they love to be engaged in a conversation.

The rules: NO NUDITY! They are somewhat dignified (at least in the public eye). Stalk The Lesbian Socialite a little. Again, figure out how to stand out. They love anything about people doing good things for the community as well as champagne, schoolate, food in general, travel, fashion and parties with a purpose.

Two (2) winners will receive the following:

The Golden Ticket: You (plus one) will get weekend passes to attend the World Famous Dinah Shore Weekend.

In addition to the passes, you will received $50 credit with OUT is in USA. You will be feature on The Lesbian Socialite website with your story about your first Dinah Shore weekend as well social media shout-outs over the weekend. Basically, you’ll be a ‘celesbian’ for the weekend. And you will get a passes to The Lesbian Socialite exclusive event at their Dinah Club House.

PLEASE NOTE: This DOES NOT include travel and/or accommodations. That is still YOUR responsibility.

CONTEST ENDS MARCH 3RD AT MIDNIGHT.

 

 

 

Queer Women Of Color Are Featured on a Hallmark Ad

With a new campaign, “Put Your Heart to Paper” Hallmark enlisted real-life couples to star in online ads. In one of the ads LaParis tells a story about the first time she saw her partner Karisia that she was immediately “smitten” when they met at a club.

For a little over a minute we are invited into the world that is LaParis and Karisia. The more they talked the more connected they appeared. It is rare to see queer women of color to be shown in this way. It was great to see. Now we need more positive images of QWOC relationships.

What do you think?